Alibis in the Archives at Gladstone’s Library

There are times when writing seems a doddle, and other times when all you want to do is sit down and write, but these other things get in the way … I was very grateful to be invited to the annual Alibis in the Archive event, part of Gladfest at the Gladstone Library. For one … Continue reading

Pinkerton’s Great Detective – The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland, by Beau Riffenburgh, published by Penguin Group.

  I found this book while researching the early 20th Century. It was not the book I was expecting. In the 1800s, there was a furious series of battles, more or less, between Miners in different coal and steel areas, and the companies that owned the mines, the railways, and smelting works. It was a … Continue reading

Pilgrim’s War by Michael Jecks

Originally posted on For winter nights – A bookish blog:
Simon & Schuster | 2018 (8 February) | 552p | Review copy | Buy the book It is March 1096 and the people of Sens in France gather to hear the crusading call of Peter the Hermit. The Holy City of Jerusalem is in the…

Saving my Sanity!

I am indebted to my brother Clive for saving my sanity this month.  How, you ask? Good question. You probably know already that I have written more than the average number of novels. 33 of them in my Templar series, I’ve a Hundred Years War trilogy, a Bloody Mary series, plus several collections, novellas and … Continue reading

Astrohaus Freewrite – Hipsters’ Bait or Worthy Device?

As readers of this blog will know, I’m an enthusiastic user of any form of technology that might help me work, whether by saving time or making me more efficient. In recent years I have tried returning to a slower, happier age by writing my books by hand. I have attempted to use typewriters, I … Continue reading

Time For An Old-Fashioned Computer – The Freewrite from Astrohaus

Today I am writing on a new device. It is a machine that has polarised opinions. I have read that it is “the Ultimate” word processor, that it is a waste of money, that it is “impractical and overpriced”, an example of how “not to do software”, that it is the best writing environment for … Continue reading

What’s in a Name?

It’s now a week and two days since I picked up our puppy. When I was a youngster, my parents always had a lot of dogs. When I say a lot, I mean a pack. We had four or five all the time while I was at home. I think my mother counted once and … Continue reading

Not All Keyboards Are Equal!

I am in the middle of an edit just now. I do not need distractions. I do not need disturbances. No, I need time to sit and concentrate on the flow of this story. But I’ve just received something. The nice man from the delivery service came and handed me a heavy parcel. Not a … Continue reading

Keyboards and Tools of the Trade

It is a rare thing nowadays to find a specialist company that is, in the mind of the general population, taking a retrograde step but which serves a specialist market. I was mentioning to my wife recently that I thought I needed a new keyboard. ’Oh, another gimmick,’ she said – somewhat unsympathetically, I have … Continue reading

Sean O’Callaghan – RIP

It was about twenty years ago that I attended a meeting of the Crime Writers’ Association in a rather run-down little club in West London. At the time I had published, I think, five novels. My main stories were the Templar series, based on a renegade Templar who escapes after the destruction of his Order, … Continue reading